According to a press release (25 January 2002), a new study by researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center shows that a synthetic antioxidant can delay and prevent the onset of autoimmune diabetes in mice. The antioxidant protected insulin-producing beta cells from lethal oxygen radicals generated in diabetes. The antioxidant also blocked the ability of the immune system to recognize beta cells, the target of the autoimmune attack in diabetes. The findings suggest that antioxidants may be useful against diabetes as well as other autoimmune diseases and organ-transplant rejections. The researchers used a synthetic catalytic antioxidant developed several years earlier by one of the researchers, and now licensed by Incara Pharmaceuticals Corporation. The antioxidant, dubbed AEOL 10113, mimics the naturally occurring antioxidant superoxide dismutase, but is effective against a wider range of antioxidants and lasts longer in the body. The findings, published by in the February issue of Diabetes, suggest that antioxidants may be useful against diabetes as well as other autoimmune disorders. Additional article can be found in this article (25 January 2002). from United Press International.
This research is following a line similar to that being explored by MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals, which is also testing a family of synthetic analogs of superoxide dismutase (see Nanodot posts from 12 July and 14 December 2001).